Saturday, October 12, 2019

Finding Balance

How do you find balance between being size positive and being a glutton?  Being a curvy girl that works out and doesn't diet and being a person who mindlessly eats way more calories than is healthy are not the same thing.  I find my middle and my thighs getting fatter over the years despite my weekly calorie burn increasing with more mileage and more classes.  

I follow a lot of amazing people on social media.  Plus size athletes that are killing it.  But as I listen to their podcasts and read their blogs I recognize that I'm not where they are.  I want to be.  I am sometimes perceived to be.  I want to be the best version of me.  And I know that I'm not right now.  

Counting calories and not eating whatever you want sucks.  But eating the amount of sugar and sodium that I do in a day is only going to lead to health problems down the road.  I have been blessed with health problems from my genes that are beyond my control.  I don't want to make things worse.

So what's the solution?  I like the idea of days where I can splurge and days when I have more control.  Dr. Ian from the Biggest Loser had a book a few years back called the 3-1-2-1 diet.  This program told you to be good for 3 days and then have a cheat day and then 2 more good days followed by a cheat day.  This is a realistic goal that I can achieve.  

At the end of a lot of days I find myself sluggish and falling asleep on the couch because I have gorged myself.  Making healthy food choices will make me feel better.  Replacing some of those fatty and salty staples with fruits and veggies and healthy proteins will give me more energy.  

So with two more days of vacation before I go back to reality this probably isn't the best time to start something new.  But really there is never going to be a good time.  I find that I have the most clarity first thing in the morning.  I will try to go back to journaling when I first wake up.  Before I start taking care of everyone else, I need to take better care of myself.  

Here we go again.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Keep Underestimating Me

I love it when people underestimate me.  I try not to be so sensitive about what other people think but it’s hard when these things happen over and over again.

Incident #1- I’m doing a half marathon out of town.  I’ve done 100+ races with more than 40 of them half’s.  Most of my travel gear is fitness or running apparel.  So inevitably at packet pickup people assume I’m running the 5k or 10k.  Even though there are clearly marked lines for each distance and I’m standing in line for the half marathon they assume I’m wrong.  Because I’m a curvy girl and don’t fit their image of what a runner looks like.  Forget the fact that there are runners of all ages, sizes and paces at every race.  Every once in a while I get a condescending “good for you”.  Eff them.  Don’t pat me on the head like I’ve achieved some great feat as a fat girl.  I trained for this.  I run/bike 20+ miles a week.  How dare you ruin a perfectly good day for me.  Worse than that is the person handing me my t-shirt was like “is this your first half?”  God I hate people.

Incident #2- I always take local fitness classes when I travel.  For people who travel a lot that haven’t discovered Class Pass it is awesome.  You can sign up for fitness classes at multiple gyms in the area for a monthly fee equal to your typical monthly gym fee.  Way cheaper than paying for a day pass and a lot more options. 

So I get to the studio early.  It’s just me and the instructor at first.  She was very nice to me.  We chat it up while we’re waiting for the rest of the class to arrive.  I tell her I’m in town for the race and she is clearly surprised.  She tells me to modify if I need to since my legs may be sore.  A couple songs into the class she says “wow, you’re really fit”.  I know she didn’t mean anything negative by it and that I should have taken it as a compliment.  But what sticks with me is that she decided I wasn’t fit when she looked at me.  That her first impression was that I wasn’t fit.  That no matter how many races I run or classes that I take people will always see me as unfit and I will constantly have to prove myself. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

No Will Power aka Mindless Eating

Yesterday I went to Dunkin to pick up a breakfast sandwich for dinner.  Not the healthiest post-workout meal but I had 30 minutes after teaching my class to get changed and get to an event.  Eating in my car and frequent visits to drive thru lanes are bad habits I know.

Well Dunkin had a deal where you could get 2 breakfast sandwiches for $5.  So almost 1/2 price.  When the cashier asked me if I wanted to get 2, of course I said yes.  Thinking about the money that I was saving and that I already had my post-workout meal ready for the next day when I would have a similar time crunch. 

So now I’ve doubled down on my bad decision.  I have followed up 2 calorie-scorching sessions with meals that most likely undo all my hard work.  When people say they can’t believe I’m not thin even though I work out so much I spout bullshit about metabolism and bad genes but the reality is I have terrible eating habits and no will power.

So fast forward to today.  I teach class and then eat my 2nd breakfast sandwich as I run into a meeting.  There are donut holes and fruit on the table.  I gorge myself on fruit and only eat 3 donut holes.  I eat a sensible salad for lunch. 

When I get home at the end of a long day I watch Netflix as I fold laundry.  I snack on some iced animal cookies mindlessly while I do this.  My husband makes dinner and sets a full plate in front of me that matches his.  I think for a moment that this is way too much food for me and that I should put some of it away for later.  Of course this is not what I do.  I clean my plate.  Even though halfway through I am satisfied and by the end I am struggling to finish the last couple bites. 

My husband is significantly taller than me.  There is no reason we should ever be eating the same portion sizes.  I workout a lot and he doesn’t. I often justify our twin eating because I burn more calories than him and need the extra fuel.  This is such bs.  We are both eating way too much food.  We are mindlessly eating and it is preventing both of us from losing weight. 

I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions.  Every year I find myself trying to reinvent myself and every year I seem to manage to fail in this area.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Race Card.....Again

I keep finding myself in situations where I feel disrespected.  Taken for granted.  Dictated to.  Talked down to.  The only constant in these situation is that I am black and everyone else is white.  I'd like to think that this is just a coincidence but it happens too often for it to be.

Then I think that maybe it's me.  Maybe I'm on edge; waiting for someone to do or say something.  Maybe I am hypersensitive to it.  Maybe it keeps happening because I'm the problem.

I feel like I am distrusted to handle certain tasks.  Like my opinions aren't valued.  Like I'm talked down to like a child.  But I'm more educated than all of them.  That's the kicker.  They think less of me and treat me like a subordinate because I'm "new".  But I'm not really new.  I have just as much experience (often more) than they do but I'm new to them in this role. 

If I confront them I am always the angry black woman because I can't control my emotions.  But on a daily basis I feel mistreated.  I stew over these incidents obsessively.  I have heart palpitations.  I can't sleep.  When I'm in meetings I try so hard to act like everything is okay that I often stumble over my words and become the bumbling idiot they all seem to think I am.

By the end of the day my jaw hurts from clenching.  I don't even realize I'm doing it until the headache and neck pain sets in.  I have to sleep with a night guard or I have crippling migraines and stabbing pains in my jaw throughout the day. 

If I go somewhere else it won't be different.  At this point I know that.  That this misjudgment and bias will follow me everywhere.  I think that I'll just do a kick ass job and they'll have to notice and change their tune but they never do.  It never happens.  I feel proud of myself and then they kick me down. 

I think back to years ago when I was depressed and spent most of my time in the house alone.  When I wallowed in my solitude and didn't participate in life.  When I took working from to home to extremes and rarely went further than the end of my driveway.  Than I remember how I found myself again.  How I found myself through fitness and volunteering and then moved to positions of authority in both fields and started to feel fulfilled. 

But now I'm back in the same old rut I always find myself in.  I am filled with anxiety.  I am ready to quit everything and just go back to being a hermit.  But I know this isn't the right answer.  I just wish I knew what was. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Holding On to Anger

I find myself having imaginary conversations with people whenever I am by myself.  Driving to a meeting, reading a book, etc.  Any quiet time becomes a time for me to replay an incident where I didn't react the way I wanted to or to predict an incident that I've made up so I can respond accordingly.  I don’t even realize that I’m doing it until I’m halfway through an episode.

There are so many incidents where I haven’t expressed myself or stood up for myself.  When I look back at them I think about what I should have said.  What I wanted to say.  I invent a situation in my head where I have a chance to put someone in their place.  Where I will have redemption for a wrong that must be righted. 

How did I end up here.  So knotted up with anger and regret that I can’t think.  I am conscious of it now and stop myself but before I know it I am back in that same place.  At the end of a drive I find my jaw hurts.  My shoulders are sore.  I often have a headache.  When I’m driving I am so tense because I’m going through all this shit in my head.  I can’t keep going like this. 

I have to break myself of this habit.  It is toxic.  Holding in all this anger and getting so worked up about things that have already happened or that I’m imagining happening in some fictional situation is not good for me.  I don’t want to be angry.  I don’t want to hold things in.  My blood pressure is high.  I am overweight.  I’m begging for a heart attack or stroke one day if I don’t fix this.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

But You Speak So Well

Whenever I am with a large group of black people, particularly women, I feel more judged than at any other time in my life.  I feel excluded.  No matter what the setting, there are some black women who seem so intent on preserving their clique that they push other black people away.  I have experienced this the most in professional and fitness groups.

If I had a dollar for every time some white person said to me "Good for you" when they find out I have a technical career or "You speak so well" when they meet me in person after only speaking to me on the phone or via e-mail and not realizing that I'm black.  I know that other black professionals experience this.  I find comfort in having this confirmed in online forums.  I am not the only one who struggles to exist in a atmosphere that is still very much predominantly male and white.  I am not the only one who has been asked to make coffee or copies when someone comes into the office and assumes that I must be a secretary. 

But when I meet my black peers in person I feel the exact same discomfort that I do from my white peers at work.  I want to be supportive of these organizations because they need to exist but, whenever I attend any events in person, I find the hypocrisy difficult to stomach.  At least if I never meet them in person I don't have to deal with the reality that these people don't really have my back.  That they don't get me or care about me.  That the occasional "troll-like' posts that exist in these forums online are more prevalent in person. 

I have found that a lot of other black people have experienced the same thing and now boycott these events.  I have made more black friends through mainstream organizations than through the black-centric ones.  I don't know what this means in the current racial and political climate but it seems like now more than ever we should be supporting each other rather than tearing each other down. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rinse and Repeat

You have a terrible day.  Everything that can go wrong does.  And all of it could have been avoided if you prepared better.  If you balanced your time.  If after 40 years on earth you had gained time management skills.  So you tell yourself, this is my rock bottom.  I will never let this happen again.  I will get my sh%t together and not ever have another day like this again.  

And you will be better….for a little while.  Maybe a day, hell maybe a whole month.  But in the end, if you don’t make any big changes you will fall into the same old patterns.  Sure you’ll dodge a couple bullets.  You’ll pull an all-nighter to prepare for your presentation. Your class will get cancelled because of bad weather, giving you another week to prepare.  But it will catch up to you eventually.  It always does.  

At that point you’ll have that same conversation with yourself.  You’ll say never again but you’ll remember that you’ve said this before.  You are angry at yourself. You can’t believe that it’s gotten this bad again.  So you feel sorry for yourself for a day and you start again tomorrow.  Hoping that this time is the last time and you’ve truly learned your lesson.